Organellar Proton-ATPases

  • Nathan Nelson

Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Gergely Lukacs, Ori D. Rotstein, Sergio Grinstein
    Pages 29-47
  3. Roland Baron, Marcjanna Bartkiewicz, Pe’er David, Natividad Hernando-Sobrino
    Pages 49-73
  4. Julian A. T. Dow
    Pages 75-102
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-228

About this book


THE WORLD OF PROTON PUMPS Nathan Nelson uite frequently an observer looks at a life phenomenon and asks ~himself why nature took this route out of several other available mec anisms. In order to understand this challenge he may first try to reconstruct the evolution of the process taking into account the main driving forces that were assumed to exist during the last 3. 5 billion years on earth. Now we know that the electrochemical gradient of protons is the universal high-energy intermediate produced and uti­ lized by every living cell in nature. This high energy intermediate is an expression of different concentrations of active protons in the two faces of biological membranes. Why then did nature elect to utilize a pre­ dominantly electrochemical gradient of protons and no other ion? The answer to this question may lie in the environment in which the first living creatures evolved. Some of them may have been challenged by an acidic environment that lowered their internal pH (by a proton leak through their membranes) to lethal levels. To counteract these inci­ dents proton pumps evolved. Two independent systems were devel­ oped. One was a proton pump coupled to energetically downhill vectorial electron transport across membranes and the second was an ATP-dependent proton pump. Both of them pump protons outward from the cells generating an electrochemical gradient of protons.


FATPase Organelle VATPase bacteria biology cell chloroplast enzyme enzymes evolution insects membrane metabolism mitochondria molecular biology

Authors and affiliations

  • Nathan Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Roche Institute of Molecular BiologyRoche Research CenterNutleyUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-662-22267-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-22265-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1431-0414
  • Buy this book on publisher's site